Senator Lesniak alludes to major online poker expansion in New Jersey

New Jersey’s online poker market has been up and running since November of last year, with plenty of prospective innovations pointing towards a multitude of different avenues. Negotiating shared liquidity with other states, and potentially international jurisdictions, has always been a topic of discussion. The impending entry of PokerStars into the New Jersey internet poker market has been a huge subject of late. Thus a surreptitious tweet by NJ Senator Ray Lesniak alluding to an upcoming “major announcement” has everyone talking around the proverbial water cooler.

Lesniak has been a huge advocate of online poker for years now, helping to establish its legalization in New Jersey as well as pushing for regulation on a federal level. According to the Senator, there are big things brewing in the Garden State, but he has yet to say just what is cooking in the pot. The clandestine verbiage of his statements did give us some strategic hints, though.

On Thursday, September 11, in between remembering the victims of 9/11, preparing to fight for the restoration of nationwide food stamp cuts on Capitol Hill and gearing up for the big Rutgers game that weekend, Lesniak managed to pique the interest of America’s online poker community by scripting the following tweet: “@PokerStars launch will spark an AC revival. Stay tuned for a major announcement…

The impending launch of PokerStars in New Jersey is old news at this point, albeit it still a highly anticipated event for the state’s online poker players. When Amaya Gaming bought out Rational Group a few months ago, NJ officials were quick to welcome the operator into the fold, pending the iGaming licensure process of course. So what new and exciting announcement could Lesniak be alluding to?

Perhaps the licensure process is nearing an end and PokerStars will become a fixture of the Garden State’s online poker market in the coming weeks? He chose not to respond to any direct comments of that sort, but when one person asked if New Jersey will ever be opening its virtual doors to European players, the Senator made a point to reply. “Soon”, he said, “Stay tuned for that also.”

The use of the word “also” implies that pooling players with international poker sites was not included in his original topic of non-disclosure, but that it is on the table as a secondary focal point of future discussions.

The public was enlightened just a bit more when Chris Grove of OnlinePokerReport.com asked Lesniak for a timeframe on the release of the “major announcement” in question. The Senator modestly replied, “not long, weeks not months”. A short time later, a comment was made referring to player pooling with other US states, to which Lesniak also chose to respond enthusiastically, “Soon to be countries!

As for the full scope of Sen. Ray Lesniak’s unveil, we will simply have to wait those few “weeks”, but we can least assume that it has something to do with PokerStars and shared liquidity, if not the future of player pooling with international jurisdictions. For speculations sake, I should point out that a separate tweet posted the same day by Lesniak suggested that when PokerStars enters the local market, New Jersey will become “the Silicon Valley of Internet gaming.” Could it be that international player pooling will bring PokerStars immense, 20k+ average player base to the Garden State? Oh, the possibilities!

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